Sunday 31 May 2015

Blog Sandwich Update 5 … Sharon; Bomber Command Memorial Eastbourne; Canterbury Cathedral’s Ancestors' Medieval Windows and some food …

Lots going on … just not much on the blog … so time for a celebratory catch up and generally some news …

I don't really need to caption this one ...  I was
'freezing' - how Sharon stayed warm I've
no idea!!

Guess who came for a pub lunch … Sharon Mayhew, Blog Mom to my Grand Blog Mom for Lenny!!  That was a surprise … and came out of the blue … she was over seeing her grandfather, who lives down the coast … and they wanted a day out and a pub lunch … well I’m always game!  (Sharon Mayhew, Kit Lit Writer blog).

Sharon's Ploughman's - good fresh
crusty bread, pickle, salads and some
excellent tasty Sussex Cheddar

They came here … and George could not believe that we’d never met, couldn’t comprehend how we got on so well and had mutual friends around the world … it was wonderful.  George was really interesting and we nattered about all subjects … as you might imagine!

It was a foul day … chilly, with a sky full of sea-fog … not conducive to sight-seeing … but a pub lunch yes!  We went to the Tiger Inn at East Dean, about 4 miles from Eastbourne.  George said he’d take Sharon back along the coast road …

Then we did venture to Beachy Head … could see very little, but we walked the short Peace Path round the new (2012) Bomber Command memorial that I hadn’t seen … well I can walk now with my new hip – it does make a difference!  

We came back down to see the Crumbling Cliffs at Birling Gap … and then we sadly said farewell.  But what a surprise … Memorial Day week turned up trumps.  

Sharon had said ages ago that she thought her grandfather and I would get on … I do believe we were discussing the names of toilets in WW2 at the time … George and I have yet to broach that subject!?!

The front of part of one of
the windows before being
cleaned ...

I’ve been writing up some talks and articles … and I’ve been to Canterbury to see six of ‘The Ancestors of Christ Windows at Canterbury Cathedral’ … before they get reinstated into the Great South Window after conservation work has been carried out to preserve the stonework for another few centuries.

George's baked camembert,
toasty buttered breads and

I posted about the first part of the exhibition at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, before they went to the Metropolitan Museum in New York – then the return to Canterbury where the British and European public to have a chance to view the ancient stained glass (12th and early 13th century) at ground level, rather than fifty feet up in the South Tower.  Incredible opportunity – which I took.

Exhibition which finishes today at the
National Gallery
I went to London yesterday and saw Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery, the Magna Carta exhibition, signed on 15th June, 1215 (eight hundred years ago), at the British Library, and then ...

... a visit to a refurbished Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington’s home until his death – in acknowledgement of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo approaching on 18th June 2015.  

Apsley House, No 1 Hyde Park ...
Wellington Arch is now in the centre of a large
roundabout park, where there is a small museum.
The Welsh Guards trooped through the gate - and
my lunch place was just to the left of the
columns - so I was in the right place

Then I will take the summer off to get on with some other things that I need to address … to really clear the books and papers out, to read those books that are many and piled around … to learn some techie stuff and generally get my head clear for the future.

My bacon and chicken salad

I’ve written 700 posts over the years and there are plenty more where those came from …

This was on the edge of Hyde Park, near Buckingham
Palace - and was the first Review of Trooping the Colour
2015, which takes place in front of the Queen on
Saturday 13 June: here the Welsh Guard are returning
to Barracks.  There's a Triathlon event on today ...
so lots of international athletes around too - hence the
banners etc in the background.
So to wave a brief goodbye until September … I’ve fixed with Denise Covey (the Aussie traveller and cafe writer) to have a session at one of her couch visits … that strikes me as a good way to pop back into the blogosphere and announce my return …

… I shall be lurking ... the feeder will fill and I will glance across … but most importantly I want to thank everyone for your wonderful comments during the A-Z this year and for all the previous connections we have made … life is very different when we blog … we learn, we connect, we appreciate as we linger long enough to understand and comprehend each other … it’s an amazing way of life.  Busy yes, but so worthwhile …

I will return and I’m here … just giving myself a break from the commitment of posting and returning comments …

Tiger Inn facing the village green

… and yes I do have lots of A-Z commenters to reply to and bloggers to get over to see or meet and greet … another big project over the A-Z is not a good idea, then to get the dreaded lurghi (bug) which hung around for a month of so … but now I will finalise 2015’s A-Z …

see note to left ... 

I know lots of bloggers have things going on … and I will try and keep up and in touch during the summer months … but I’m going to check in on my dusty brain, dust mites and those dusty books!  So in the meantime … take care and enjoy life …

The "My Ideal Bookshelf" from the Literary Omnivores ... love the photo - but the website many of you may well enjoy - here's the link for the My Ideal Bookshelf post

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 4 May 2015

Z – Xtra on Aspects of British Cornish … and Reflections on the A – Z …

A bit of a combo post today … as I’m busy with something else that demands a lot of attention (nothing serious) … I’ll be back to comment at the weekend, but won’t be around til then … just so you know I haven’t disappeared off the Cornish or blog planet!

These postcards are available, once in Cornwall!

However my thoughts ventured along my A-Z postings and I did cover most or at least sent you off to look further … always my intention to give prompts so you can chase your interests … anything I’ve missed give me a shout: just not too loud, please!

The Minack Theatre looking across Porthcurno beach and bay

Two things I never mentioned and one is very dear to my heart … The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno … a spectacular theatre hewn out of rock (now sadly somewhat modernised due to health and safety!)the history and some older photos can be found here, including one of Rowena Cade resting in a wheelbarrow.

At night and I gather it was raining!

Rowena Cade (1893 – 1983) owned the land, offered the garden to a local village group of players in 1930.  From those humble beginnings Rowena Cade and her gardeners literally ‘lugged sand, granite, wrecked timbers, up to the stage floor – the seating being created as time passed’ – thus the theatre was moulded.

… and one where I fall down on, but Cornwall most definitely does not … Music and Folk Festivals … choirs, brass and silver bands, folk nights down the pub … which is my major omission in the A-Z posts.  Wiki has an entry ... which will lead out ... and you musicians will know where to go to look further. 

Chysauster Neolithic village with
the Ding Dong Mine in the background

Ding Dong Mine song …. The White Crow Medicine Show - sung by Jerry Crow ... shows the mine and has some lovely music accompanying the song: worth listening to?!  (only 4 minutes long).

Z for Zennor … surprisingly is a small village, with a population of 196 … St Ives round the corner so to speak has just over 11,000 residents.  I don’t live in Cornwall … but my mother’s family were Cornish, and we are adopted Cornwall residents – often holidaying and visiting.
My mother used to live in this
village for a while - it's on the
Penzance side of the peninsula

Books – I completely forgot The Mousehole Cat – I have written about the children’s book, based on the legend of a Cornish fisherman Tom Bawcockand the stargazy pie.

Smugglers Days and Smugglers Ways by Henry Shore (1892) – though this is a facsimile edition … and it’s relatively expensive.  This is about Tresco and the Scilly Islands … with some great lore:  I only found out about it yesterday.

Bob Scotney also mentioned a book on Emperor Smith: The Man Who Built Scilly’ by Sam Llewellyn – the fascinating story of the early Duchy of Cornwall and Smith who leased the Scilly Isles from them in 1834.

Actually – it’s a book about the Duchy of Cornwall, Georgian England, Bentham, the school system, Ireland … he was a Georgian social experimenter in the Lunar Society tradition, fire in his belly and a glint in his eye, a believer in Benjamin Franklin’s maxim ‘that anger is a sinew of the soul, and he who wants it has a maimed mind’.  His mission was not to gently steer institutions, but to tear up the old and install the radical new.

That book has my attention caught … you probably realised that.

A Mini-Guide to Cornish – a tiny booklet … not expensive … the reason I’m mentioning it – is that it gives a very succinct prĂ©cis on encountering a strange language: which gives an idea of English evolving, pre-Aryan, pre-Celt, and the superimposition of these languages into our present day language.  Very short and fascinating; with the bulk of its sixteen pages a word list.

Join us and share a home-made pasty
at the Minack Theatre

Reflections … similar to previous years:

  • Love it
  • Yes, lots of work
  • Yes, lots of people to meet, greet and comment across to – I owe many: I will get to you all … apologies in the meantime.

Blogger v Wordpress …. It’s easy to overcome: sign in with the one you don’t use – it’s not compulsory to make use of the free sign up … but it does facilitate the challenge

Google+ - positively a nightmare … I can’t find the blog, can’t find a link to the owner, and sometimes just have to walk away …

Disqus – another nightmare … but again I signed in and it’s usually ok …

Brilliant blogs around … many I know, new friends I’ve met …

Thank you to Arlee (Lee to me) for having the bright idea, and to Alex and all the hosts and minions for their continuing graft at keeping the show running.

Desperately sad to have lost Tina – but we’ve remembered her – some of you so thoughtfully as David Powers King did throughout the Challenge, with his daily dedication to Tina.

This is a photo from the Emperor Smith book (early 1800s) ... you see the white house (Ponsondane) - it is now a Care Home -
but the nostalgic bit for me ... is it is still there - the railway viaduct practically goes over it, before going on
to Penzance less than a mile further on (1852).  We used to go under the viaduct, past Ponsondane, and up to the village
where my mother lived: Gulval.  Now there's a lot more housing, roads, industrial units and supermarkets!
Change - yes .... yet not so much in a funny way ... the Church is there, the Market Building (1838) can be seen ...

Length of posts – I know I don’t fall into the short slot (by any stretch of the imagination) ... but I feel deprived if I don’t write my usual way … especially as my subjects need more attention than a whizz past.  I start shorter … then …………….

St Mary's Church - a beacon on the headland that is
Pen (headland) zance (holy).
The railway terminus us just behind us; this is Wharf Road
round the harbour before we turn on to the Prom
- Penzance's sea wall and frontage

I appreciate many of you who comment regardless of the length … and with whom I’ve become great blogging friends …

I will be over to comment and reply to all comments/bloggers I’ve missed during the Challenge – please just give me a week …

Stem ginger and honey, or
lightly spicy and oh so tasty

I take Benjamin Franklin’s maxim and just change it a little … as reference to those perceived negatives about the A-Z Challenge … accept the challenge, look on the other side of the Cornish stone wall … if you have a problem work through it and help all of us so you can fully participate.

Reflections – great … a wonderful achievement by so many, a learning curve for some, yet a huge plus in our lives that we are part of this wonderful groupI come across many blogs, where the author writes incredibly well, their content is fascinating … but there are no comments.  Just count ourselves very fortunate …
Time for a cup of tea using Cornishware and
enjoying Real or Ginger Fairings - deliciouso!

Thanks to one and all … cheers and remember I won’t comment til the weekend …

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories